Botulinum toxin A for the management of vulvodynia

Int J Impot Res. Jan-Feb 2007;19(1):84-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901487. Epub 2006 May 18.

Abstract

Clinically, botulinum toxin A blocks the cholinergic innervation of the target tissue. Recently, it has been proved effective not only at a neuromuscular junction but also within parasympathetic or sympathetic neural synapses. Seven women with pain on genitalia that could not be controlled with conventional pain managements were enrolled in this study. Twenty to 40 U of botulinum toxin A were used in each injection. Injection sites were the vestibule, levator ani muscle or the perineal body. Repeat injections were administered every 2 weeks if the patient's symptoms had not fully subsided. In all patients, pain had disappeared with botulinum toxin A injections. Five patients needed to be injected twice; the other two patients needed only one injection. We did not observe complications related to botulinum toxin A injections, such as pain, hemorrhage, infection, muscle paralysis or other complications. The subjective pain score improved from 8.3 to 1.4, and no one has experienced a recurrence (the follow-up period was four to 24 months, with a mean follow-up of 11.6 months). Botulinum toxin A is effective in blocking nociception. Even though further investigation and well-controlled study will be necessary, we suggest that the botulinum toxin therapy would be useful and safe in managing vulvodynia of muscular or neuroinflammatory origins.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / administration & dosage
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Coitus
  • Dyspareunia / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Nociceptors / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vulva / drug effects
  • Vulvar Diseases / drug therapy*

Substances

  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A